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Any Experience With Mouse Catching Cats?
06-26-2016, 08:55 PM,
#1
HillCritters Offline
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Any Experience With Mouse Catching Cats?
My daughter has a mouse problem in her house and she was thinking about getting a cat. Since I am the cat lady, she was asking me if there were certain breeds of cats that were better at getting mice and if she should get a cat or a kitten. In my experience, I've found that some cats are great mousers and others are not. One of my outdoor cats is always looking for, catching and eating mice. Since we live in the country and there are several old barns and outbuildings on the property, she has quite the buffet. My cats that used to totally be house cats, but are now both inside and outside cats, aren't really sure what a mouse is. Some of them will catch a mouse once in awhile, but they just play with it. Does anyone have any experience with cats and mice, and do you know if there are certain breeds that are better and if it matters about the age of the cat?
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06-28-2016, 02:04 PM,
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remnant Offline
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RE: Any Experience With Mouse Catching Cats?
Generally, mouse catching cats are not restricted to anyone breed for that matter. Its an issue of nurture not nature if my experience with them is anything to go by. Cats seem to have retained most of their pre-domestication characteristics and thats the reason they always seem to be on guard. Even family members are not regarded as hundred percent kosher. This goes hand in hand with their predatory instincts which centres on the aspect of live and let live. Most people make the mistake of pampering cats with all sorts of processed foods resulting in their losing of predatory instincts. Therefore, they can't be relied on to prey on mice and rats. Cats don't have high levels of cognition unlike dogs. Therefore, their training is not easy. The best approach is to feed them when necessary. Simply leave their plates with a reasonable amount of food and then leave them to supplement through hunting. Our cats are very skilled at this and can usually be seen lurking in a corner waiting for the opportune moment to strike at an unsuspecting mice.
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07-26-2016, 11:30 PM,
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Karasu Offline
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RE: Any Experience With Mouse Catching Cats?
Speaking from experience, there are no cat breeds that are more likely to catch mice. However, you can encourage this sort of behavior by training them to catch wild critters! Buy toys that are supposed to be chased, don't overfeed them, encourage this sort of behavior by praising them when they do start taking home their catches. Another thing that I found, based from experience, is that tomcats are more likely to give chase after mice and other little critters. But that might just be coincidence on my part! About the age of the cat, I think it's better to have them as kittens and then encourage this sort of hunting behavior that way.
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08-02-2016, 11:55 PM,
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TheaR Offline
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RE: Any Experience With Mouse Catching Cats?
I don't think there's such a thing as a mouse-catching breed of cats. It's in the nature of the animals to prey and catch their food, but that may be interrupted by the level of domestication they receive and their own nature. Some cats are just plain lazy while some are free spirited, adventurous, and love their independence. Cats with the latter trait (in spite of breed) tend to be mouse catchers. Some cats seem to mouse just for fun and to keep their game on, but never of hardly ever eat their catch.
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08-04-2016, 10:53 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-04-2016, 10:57 PM by kfander.)
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kfander Offline
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RE: Any Experience With Mouse Catching Cats?
Like the others who have commented here, I don't have any breed-specific recommendations, other than perhaps the pedigreed variety wouldn't be the best choice, since they are bred for purposes other than catching mice.

Where some people go wrong, and I have myself, is that it's quite possible to train a cat not to hunt, simply by our human reactions to having the cat bring us a dead animal. When we react with disgust, the cat is likely to pick up on that eventually, and consider hunting to be something s/he probably shouldn't do. Of course, most cats won't quit hunting because of that, since they don't generally care a lot about what we might think of something - they'll just quit presenting you with their kill.

I have a couple of very old cats, sisters who have been with me since they were born more than twenty-six years ago, and they have never hunted. One of them pounced on a bird outside once, held it for a few moments then watched it fly away. They would give a mouse a passing glance, as if acknowledging its existence, but never think that it had anything to do with them.

However, I have a three year-old who doesn't even play around with them. We moved back to our house after having lived away for a couple of years and, in the meantime, some mice had moved in. Ella would go after them with all seriousness. She didn't even look like she was enjoying it, but that it was a job that she took to diligently, spending hours waiting for it to come within reach.

She killed three of them the first week we were back. We didn't see anymore until she brought one in alive one day, and let it go in the house. I don't know what that was all about, but she acted like that mouse was her friend. It was standing on the bottom of the steps only six inches from Ella, and at first I thought she couldn't see it. Then she reached over and rubbed her head on the mouse as if to say, "This mouse is okay."

I don't think the mouse felt the same way about it because it didn't stick around long, and I've never seen it again since. But neither did it turn up dead anywhere.

When Ella brings me a mouse, a mole, a vole, a bird, or some other critter, she will wait by the door with it for as long as it takes, wanting to make sure that she gets credit for it. While I'd rather she didn't bring dead animals home with her, and I'd prefer she didn't kill birds at all, I don't want to confuse her and make her think that there's something wrong with being a cat, and doing the things that cats do, so I thank her for it, and praise her for being such a good kitty. Then I try not to let her see me dispose of the body.

I grew up on a farm where I was pretty much the only one in the family who viewed our cats as pets. To everyone else, their purpose was to keep the rodent population down in the barn. I think it's fair to say that most people want cats as pets today, and it must be awfully confusing for a cat when their gifts are rejected with horror and disgust.

Cats haven't been domesticated for as many generations as dogs have and, until very recently, even domesticated cats were desired for their hunting prowess. For most cats, I think hunting is an instinct that they'll gravitate to unless or until it is strongly discouraged, intentionally or otherwise. Being individuals, this isn't true of all of them, however.
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08-23-2016, 01:24 AM,
#6
rz3300 Offline
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RE: Any Experience With Mouse Catching Cats?
Oh yes, and a lot of it. This really makes me miss my little guy, but man was he good at catching things. Of course it was pretty frustrating at times, and walking outside to find dead birds and squirrels is not really the best sight to see, but at the same time I was just always impressed with the little guy. I would think that if he were out there on his own he would be doing just fine. He did get in a couple scraps though with some other cats (at least I think they were other cats) and he got beat up from time to time, but I guess that was just his personality, and I am not one to stop him from doing anything like that. He was a good cat, and I really do miss him. Thanks for the good memories.
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